There’s so much talk of shopping small at Christmas, especially this year.
I don’t know if it’s just me, but it feels like shopping small has become a bit of a buzz word. A fashion. A fad.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for it. Especially right now. I live in a town that is made up mostly of small businesses and seeing them all closed is heartbreaking. All those business owners and their employees must be stressed and sad and worried about what’s next. That’s not fair. They work too hard to have everything taken away from them and nobody could blame them for shouting ‘shop local’ from the rooftops while the ground below them is trembling.
I feel like constantly hearing shop small or support local from influencers and the like, makes a heck of a lot of people feel like sh*t. Shopping small and local is often a much more expensive way of sorting your Christmas list and while your gifts will undoubtedly be more beautifully crafted, more lovingly made and more ethically sourced, you cannot ignore the cost difference.
This is not to say that sharing your favourite business(es) on Instagram is a bad thing, of course it isn’t. I share businesses I love or whom I am friends with. Supporting a small business inevitably supports at least one family, usually more, and stops old Bezos getting richer.
In an ideal world, we would all buy gifts from the local toy shop where everything is made from sustainable wood or the small business that creates sumptuous homewares, delicately crafted from the finest velvet. But the world is far from ideal right now and I fear that the constant message of shopping small to support your community makes those that cannot do so feel inferior.
We are all having to make some difficult decisions right now, some more than others and the pressure of social media and the privileged can be somewhat blind to the plight of those struggling to buy a couple of bits on the 2 for £15 deal from Argos.
I know we cannot possibly think of everyone else, all of the time, I just wish there was a little bit of a balanced message. Like shop Wherever the f*CK you need to shop to suit your budget and stress levels and enjoy your Christmas knowing you’ve done the right thing for you and yours and if that’s in your local waste free shop, then even better but if it’s in the charity shop then that’s great too. But don’t buy guilt. It will take more than it gives.